One of the items on David’s ‘must-do-before-we-leave’ list is making and installation of privacy curtains for Blue. Though it was on Blue’s ‘blue list’, it was shuffled over to Blue’s ‘pink list’ because … well, because David’s list was too long and mine was … ah … pretty short. He suggested I start my research on the Fort Transit Forum/campers-vans-conversions since many other DIY van upfitters had gone through the same process. This is penance for me. I hate sifting through the threads, but it was a reasonable suggestion, so I followed through.
First, let me explain what windows we needed covered: two rear door windows and then either the windshield and the driver’s and passenger’s side door windows OR a curtain behind the front seats that could be drawn in the evenings. Initially, the primary reason for the curtains was, of course, privacy, but after a little research, it became obvious that other van owners had considered reflective insulation as well which makes a lot of sense … use the window coverings to keep heat out as well as providing privacy.
I read more to find out how others had handled the problem. Some made patterns and sewed some pretty elaborate window covers. One woman made her own and then was selling them to other van owners. Though her work was excellent, the prices were higher than we wanted to spend. Some folks invested in commercial shades and window coverings … nice, but also expensive and no insulation. A good friend suggested just running some fabric on a bungee cord for the time being ... a good alternative if I couldn't find anything else.
I was pretty sure I was going to have to break down and sew them myself. I envisioned myself making cardboard patterns, finding and buying reflective material and fabric, figuring out how to affix them to the windows (magnets, suction cups, ???), hours cutting, sewing and fitting … when I happened upon a thread that recommended Heather’s Original Heatshield Store for a windshield sunscreen. Hmmm! … it got me to thinking.
Being a resourceful (and somewhat lazy) girl, I entered all of Blue’s vital statistics (2015 Ford Transit 250/cargo van/ medium roof) into the Heatshield questionnaire to see what they would come up with. Voila! Custom-fit windshield, driver/passenger windows and two rear windows … all for just over $100 … no tax, free shipping. I had a few questions and emailed their customer service. Within minutes, I had my answers. Thanks, Tony!
The Heatshields come in either silver reflective front w/white back or gold reflective front w/black back. We chose the silver/white. They roll up, secured with a Velcro strap and stow easily. The order arrived in three days. The windshield cover fits perfectly around the rear view mirror and stays in place with the visors down. The other windows use suction cups to keep them in place. I figure they’ll at least last for this coming season and then I’ll have patterns for all the windows if I choose to make new ones at some point.
Now I realize that this does not help us in the cold weather by insulating the windows from the cold and I’ve already come up with the solution to that problem … avoid the cold weather. Duh!